Sports Entertainment Meets Family Vacation Destination

Filed in: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Youth Sports

Alignment of Walt Disney World Resort and ESPN represents exciting intersection of sports and entertainment

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — What launched with a single cable network on Sept. 7, 1979, is now ESPN, Inc., the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets, including six domestic networks, 46 international networks and more than 50 business entities. Today, ESPN delivers sports programming to more than 200 countries and territories on all seven continents across a variety of platforms – television, wireless, interactive, print, radio, broadband, event management and consumer products – all with the hopes of fulfilling its original mission of serving sports fans.

In 1996, The Walt Disney Company, under CEO Michael Eisner, acquired Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., which included 80 percent of ESPN.  In 2005, Robert Iger was named CEO of The Walt Disney Co. – after serving as president and COO since 2000 – and continues to oversee ESPN today. In one momentous deal, Disney and ESPN changed the entire landscape of sports and entertainment, combining the sport expertise of ESPN with the creativity and the guest-experience capabilities of Disney.

A Field of Dreams Fully Realized

Today, the newly renamed ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort represents the perfect intersection of sports and entertainment – Disney’s sports complex as the leading multi-sport venue in the nation combining with ESPN’s stature as the preeminent sports entertainment media outlet in the world.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex marks the latest collaboration between the two powerful brands. The two companies have worked together successfully in the past on such events as the X Games Trials, the Old Spice Classic NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and ESPN RISE Games.

About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries.  Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including Champion Stadium, the HP Field House, the Jostens Center, the Hess Sports Fields, a track & field facility, a tennis complex and a baseball/softball sportsplex. It is also home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group that develops ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom, as well as development of its new 3-D television channel.  In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, which can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex.  The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art HD and 3-D Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles.  For more information, visit www.wdwnews.com for press releases, photos and videos.  Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports.

About ESPN, Inc.

ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets.  The company is comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPNU HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, websites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN3.com (Broadband), ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
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Media Contacts:
Keri Potts, ESPN, keri.a.potts@espn.com  212/448-4841
Darrell Fry, Walt Disney World Public Relations, darrell.fry@disney.com  407/566-5338